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Made available through the Smithsonian Institution Research Information System

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The Smithsonian Libraries collections contain over 2 million volumes, including more than 50,000 rare books and manuscripts. Over 30,000 volumes from the collections have been digitized and are freely available online through the Libraries' Digital Library and through the Biodiversity Heritage Library.
The Libraries also houses the nation's largest collection of commercial catalogs, or "Trade Literature", with nearly 480,000 pieces from over 35,000 companies dating from the 1810s. The collections are particularly strong in:
  • African art, American art, Asian and Middle Eastern art, design and decorative arts, and modern and contemporary art
  • African American history and culture, American history, Latino history and culture, and Native American history and culture
  • Postal history, aviation history and space flight, history of science and technology
  • Natural history, particularly anthropology, botany, tropical biology, environmental management, and ecology
  • Museology, material culture, and conservation
  • Trade literature
  • Materials research
  • World's Fair publications and ephemera

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